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Exercise and Cancer

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Every one of us knows someone who has had to deal with cancer of some kind. As of 2009, over 12.5 million cases of cancer had been diagnosed, and we have watched them struggle with their recovery. There is longstanding research that a healthy diet and regular exercise can be beneficial in reducing the risk for developing cancer. However, recently, more research has been directed towards exercise during and after treatment.
Exercise during cancer treatment has been shown to affect quality of life in areas including body weight, overall fitness, muscle strength, flexibility and symptoms of pain and fatigue, as well as reduce chemotherapy doses and delays in chemotherapy treatments.

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Kick Start A Healthier Lifestyle

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Summer is a great time to get fit and eat healthy.  The short, cold, snowy days have passed and the sun is finally shining!  There are a lot of affordable fresh fruits and veggies available and the Michigan weather is finally allowing us to get outside! In terms of exercise, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends 30 minutes of mild to moderate exercise 5 days per week.  This can be broken down into 10 or 15 minute increments.  I recommend simply starting with walking.  It's fun, free, low impact and most everyone can tolerate it.  In terms of intensity, you should be working out at your target heart rate which is about 50-85% of your maximum heart rate.  Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.  There is a great chart you can find on the AHA website, www.heart.org.  In addition, this website has a lot of great information about diet and exercise.  It’s definitely a great source of reliable information.

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Playing it Safe on the Playground

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Now that nice weather seems to be here to stay, everyone is anxious to get outside. Area playgrounds are a great place to take your little ones for some long-overdue exercise. However, playground injuries are more common than most of us realize.  In 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that just over 220,000 emergency room visits occurred from children being injured on playgrounds. This actually reflects a small increase from their 1999 estimate of 205,000. Eighty-five percent of playground injuries that required medical attention were due to fractures, contusions (bruises), cuts or sprains.

Here are a few tips to make sure that your fun visit to the playground doesn’t end with a quick trip to your local emergency room or urgent care center. Most of these suggestions are linked to preventing falls. First, it is extremely important to monitor your children’s activities, both using your eyes and your ears.  Also, make sure your kids’ activities are appropriate (look for pushing, shoving, and children crowding each other or inappropriately using equipment) and that the equipment being used is age-appropriate. Avoid playgrounds that do not use loose-fill materials like rubber mulch, fine sand, or woodchips/mulch as a groundcover. Finally, to decrease risk of strangulation, make sure kids are not wearing clothing with drawstrings, necklaces, purses or scarves while using equipment.

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Clean It Up! Eating Clean.

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As we roll into summer leaving spring behind us, we should be thinking about more than just cleaning out our closets. We should consider cleaning up our diets and cleaning out our bodies. The first place to begin is by eating clean! What is clean eating? Clean eating is a diet program based on the idea that the best way to eat is to abundantly enjoy whole foods, that is, foods as close to their natural state as you can get them. This means eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins instead of pre-packaged, processed or fast food. Clean eating is also committed to replacing saturated fats with healthy fats. Many on the plan don't count calories, but instead trust in good quality, healthy food. Here is what you need to do…

Step 1: Read the labels Go through your cupboards and refrigerator and clean out any products that have more than 3-6 ingredients and be sure you recognize each ingredient.  No mystery ingredients such as “spices.”

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